Letters, Spring 2024

JRB Don't You Wonder? Anti-Israelism or Antisemitism? Good News from Sa'ad, and More


This Great House

Israel's new National Library is the most architecturally exquisite building erected in the history of the Jewish State. Like its predecessor, it’s also an excellent place to “hock” about books and ideas.

Light and Darkness

A great novelist and close reader of Calvin, , Marilynne Robinson has now written a luminous commentary on Genesis.. But is her God more predictable than the God of Abraham?


Homage to Orwell

George Orwell is best known for his antitotalitarian novels, but his true genius lay in the incomparably clear and urgent morality of his journalism. We could use some of that now.

The Arts

Kaddish for the Maestro

Maestro doesn't quite succeed at capturing the extraordinary life and genius of Leonard Bernstein, but it is an opportunity to recall an era in both American Jewish and musical history that will never be repeated.

Enlightenment and Conspiracy

What is surprising about the new anti-Zionist documentary Israelism, is not its historical distortions or its polemical tricks but the spiritual myth it constructs of its protagonists’ journey to enlightenment.

First Person

Second-Hand Jew: A Self-Portrait in Scenes

I took my first novel to Israel with me, and when a suitcase bomb exploded twenty meters away from me at the Munich airport, I shielded the manuscript with my body. My sister didn’t read it until just before I left. Then she said: “I thought Thomas Mann was dead. Anyway, if you ask me, he’s not a good example.”

Last Word

Past Issues